West Ham United have launched an audacious move to sign Lyon playmaker Lucas Paqueta from under the noses of Arsenal. The Brazilian star has been linked with the Gunners and Newcastle in the summer transfer window, but the Hammers have made a late move after submitting a bid worth £33.7million (€40m) to the Ligue 1 outfit, which is now under consideration.
Express Sport can confirm that David Moyes has instructed the club to move for the 24-year-old and is hoping to complete the deal ahead of the August 31 deadline. Moyes has become frustrated in his attempts to sign a midfielder after missing out on other targets this summer.
The club failed to convince Portugal international Matheus Nunes to join them after seeing a bid accepted by Sporting Lisbon. The 24-year-old snubbed their interest to join Wolves for £35m.
Arsenal and Newcastle have both shown strong interest in Paqueta earlier this summer but were put off by Lyon’s £65m asking price for the Brazil international. However, it is understood the club are now open to accepting a lower fee and West Ham’s bid should test the French outfit’s resolve.
READ MORE: West Ham ‘make Hans Vanaken transfer bid’ but face two hurdles
West Ham had identified Hans Vanaken as an alternative to Nunes but saw their opening bid knocked back by Club Brugge for Belgium international Hans Vanaken, with reports in Belgium saying their £10m offer for the 29-year-old was ‘laughed off’ by the Jupiler Pro League outfit.
Paqueta would prove to be an impressive capture for Moyes’ side as they tackle the Premier League and UEFA’s Conference League competition for the first time. The midfielder, who can play as a No 8 or behind the striker, scored nine goals in Ligue 1 season and laid on six assists for his team-mates.
His potential arrival would also provide a boost to the Scot’s squad options after a disappointing start to the season, with West Ham currently rock-bottom of the Premier League after three matches.